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Copyleft Movement

October 7, 2010

The Copyleft movement is the reverse of copyright law; the copyright symbol is reversed to indicate that the photograph, image, music recording, software, program or other item is open-source.  This concept going mainstream was strongly influenced by the open-source software movement, with things like operating systems such as Linux and other collaborative, free forms of software being developed and distributed freely.  More things are being made and distributed under the Copyleft ideology of unrestricted promulgation.  If it is correctly labeled as being Copyleft, it is up for grabs without any restrictions.

For photographs, I use the open-source, copyright-free site MorgueFile.com.  I know that any of the images I upload to the community are up for grabs so people can use them to their heart’s content, in any fashion they want.  I use a lot of photographs from this site because there is a wide array of high resolution digital images on file.

With my artwork, I have not come up with a good Copyleft idea yet.  I definitely would like to think of something that people can riff on, grow and mutate.  It would be fun to see what people would do with it.

I am a little touchy about my work; I know that my creations have the implied copyright of my life span plus seventy years, and I would like to eventually prosper from my work.  [I’m really poor and realize that noodles have kept me alive this long.]  I also realize that it’s a Post-modern world, and anyone who wants to jack my image off my website can and will, and my work is subject to fair use interpretation as much as anything else, so I try to not lose any sleep over what could happen.  I feel that I have the view that if someone jacks my work, and they are not making money off it, we’re all good; I’ll either enjoy what they did as creative or dislike it and get over it.  If someone, especially a big corporate entity, jacks my work and is making money from it, that is so not cool; and I would want to invoke copyright law on my behalf.

I’m just going to put my work out as much as possible in the belief that the benefits of exposure outweigh any risks of content theft.  The internet is a big place with a ton of voices struggling to be heard, so the more my stuff gets around, the more eyes that see it, the better chance I have at career expansion.  I’ll let you know if that works out.

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